Most students in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri will be returning to school this week, which is always the first true harbinger of fall.
I know, I know ... the temperatures are supposed to be in the 80s this week, which is hardly a call for sweatshirts or the raking of leaves, two other items we often attach to autumn.
But let's face the facts, folks. The hot humid, weather we have been complaining about will soon be little more than a memory. So will sitting on the front porch on a comfortable summer night.
When you have to put that winter coat on the first time some crisp October or November morning you're going to be sorry you complained about those sunburned arms or having to mow the yard. (You're feeling kind of sad already, aren't you?)
Here are a few other things to ruin a bright, sunny August day:
º If you haven't noticed, the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter. The sun is going down earlier and earlier each evening.
What will really be depressing is when the time changes in late October and it's actually dark when many get home from work. I always look at the first day of the time change as the official opening day of winter. Ugh.
º Another of the most depressing times of the year is when the leaves start falling. They litter the yard and clog the spouting.
And soon after the final leaf has dropped, you look at all of the trees on your property and wonder what happened. Where did all those warm days and nice weather go?
When you get up in the morning, take a look at all of the lush greenery that currently occupies your grounds. You might want to reach for your phone and a click a few pictures, because about two months from now you'll be longing for any hint of spring or summer.
Here are a few oddities tied to fall you may never have considered (or cared about):
º More people go from "single" to "in a relationship" or "engaged" in fall than any other season. The scientific types feel that is probably because both men and women experience a higher level of testosterone in the cooler months. It is a fact that more babies are conceived in cold months than any other time of year.
º Since 1997, "Autumn" has regularly been one of the top 100 names for U.S.-born girls.
º No film with "Autumn" in the title has ever won an Oscar. Movies with "Spring," "Summer" and "Winter" have all won at least one Academy Award.
º A study in the Journal of Aging Research revealed that babies born during the fall months are more likely to live to 100 than those born during the remainder of the year.
º One closing thought about the approach of autumn, or "fall," as it is more commonly known in the United States. The term "fall" originated in England in the 17th century, a shortening of the phrase "fall of the leaf."
Ahh ... I'm going to miss you, summer.